Category: Hard fest

Are the fans M.I.A., or just skeptical? Ticket sales for Hard L.A. said to be 'slow'

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Another day, and more tales of a beleaguered concert season emerge. This time, its former teen sensations the Jonas Brothers, whose summer tour was shuffled to include more international dates, yet about a dozen fewer North American ones (the act's local appearance in Irvine was shifted from Sept. 23 to Sept. 19). 

But there is one instance in which slow ticket sales might put the minds of local officials at ease. Ticket buys for M.I.A.'s headlining July 17 appearance at Hard L.A., slated for a 36-acre plot of land at the Los Angeles State Historic Park, which is just east of Chinatown, are trending far below the capacity of 25,000 people, according to event organizers. 

The July 17 concert, also featuring noise act Sleigh Bells, African rap act Die Antwoord and hip-hop group N.E.R.D., is the city's first major electronic event to follow June's Electric Daisy Carnival. That two-day dance event drew 185,000 people to the Coliseum and adjoining Exposition Park but came under fire after reports of injuries and gate-crashing, as well as the tragic news that a 15-year-old girl died of a suspected drug overdose after attending the event. L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky went so far as to call for a rave moratorium.

The fallout, as noted in this weekend's Calendar, has brought heightened attention on Hard L.A.

"There's a concern, and I've heard from multiple agencies," said James Valdez, a state park ranger and the lead coordinator for events in the Los Angeles sector who will be overseeing Hard L.A. "Will we reevaluate our plans and logistics? Yes. In light of Electric Daisy, we will increase our numbers all the way around."

Cut from the story, however, was the off-handed comment from Valzez that "there may be more staff than people" at Hard L.A. Exaggeration or not, Gary Richards, a veteran dance music promoter who is hosting Hard L.A., noted in a separate interview that "we could use some more ticket sales."

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DJ A-Trak: Blurring the lines and building a global picture

Atrak300 A few years ago, the majority of kids turning out for DJ A-Trak shows were what he called “uber DJ fans” who preferred to film him for YouTube clips, as opposed to doing what his mixing suggested: dance.

But more bodies have been moving in the last couple of years, according to A-Trak, the 27-year-old DJ born Alain Macklovitch in Montreal. The wunderkind turntablist began winning international DJ awards at age 15, making him one of the youngest, greatest masters of the decks. He will bring his ever-evolving mix of rap, breakbeat, techno and house to the HARD New Year’s Eve DJ party on Thursday.

The Brooklyn-based DJ has a new look (think maturing hipster: Beard and fedora have replaced baseball cap and sunglasses), and he's pushing his sound further into the realm of the international dance charts in an attempt to further blur genre classification.

“This time is reminiscent of the mid-'90s, where hip-hop guys were making house music," he said during a tour stop in Mexico City. "That’s what allows me to play this Jeezy record or this Gucci Mane record next to some weird German techno record,  because to me they make sense together.”

A-Trak started his indie imprint Fool’s Gold Records in 2007, toward the end of his 4-year run as Kanye West’s official tour DJ. He’s always kept busy with dance-worthy remixes, most recently of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ “Heads Will Roll," but his latest focus is on planning his next album.

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Daft Punk, venue change drive HARD Haunted Mansion rumors

Newhardflyer Do not be alarmed; the image at left boasts one very big and obvious falsity: French electronic music duo Daft Punk is not playing at this year’s HARD Haunted Mansion event, happening at the Shrine over Halloween weekend in downtown Los Angeles (although according to actress Olivia Wilde, the duo will make a cameo appearance in the movie “Tron Legacy,” for which they’re also crafting the soundtrack). 

Upon closer inspection, the flier also states that the event is happening at a location called “The Hudson.”

This ambitious forgery is just one of many rumors swirling around the Internet regarding the dance music event, including claims of a location change to San Bernardino and that the show is already sold out.

The popular HARD series of dance events garnered a whirlwind of notoriety after HARD Summer 2009 at the Forum was canceled as a result of raucous fans crashing the main floor area.

“HARD Haunted Mansion will take place Friday, October 30 and Saturday, October 31 at the Shrine as planned,” insists promoter Gary Richards via e-mail. “There are many rumors flying around that are false. All correct and up to date information and links to purchase tickets are available at www.hardfest.com.

-- Scott T. Sterling

HARD Haunted Mansion finds new location, expands to two days

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After more than 18,000 concertgoers discovered that the Forum was not the ideal locale for an electro-powered dance party at the semi-disastrous HARD Summer party, promoter Gary Richards and the HARD team have announced the long-awaited details for the upcoming Halloween event.

The 2009 HARD Haunted Mansion party is now set for the Shrine in Los Angeles, and has expanded into a two-day event beginning Oct. 30 and continuing on Halloween. The Shrine was actually the location of the HARD Summer event in 2008, which featured N.E.R.D, Spank Rock and Amanda Blank.

The Friday night line-up is topped by controversial dance music upstart Deadmau5, alongside 2 Many DJs, DJ A-Trak, the Bloody Beetroots and more.

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